Full list of upcoming events follows; Hope to see you at one--if not more!--of these terrific events.
A Most Unexpected History of Blood Transfusion (1660 - 1820s)
Illustrated lecture with Paul Craddock, The London Consortium
Date: TONIGHT Monday, May 14
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
Those living in Britain (who owned a television set) about ten years ago might remember Sean Bean before he became a famous movie star. Apart from his appearance in Sharpe, he starred in a television advertisement for the National Blood Foundation, prompting people in his thick Yorkshire accent to 'do something amazing today'; 'save a life' by giving blood. The foundation's message is still the same, though Sean Bean has moved onto other projects such as Lord of the Rings. In any case, this illustrated lecture is about just that: the transfusion of blood and its many meanings. But it focuses on a much earlier (and stranger) period of transfusion history when saving a life was only one reason to transfuse blood - from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth.You can find out more about all events by clicking here.
The association between blood and life is a very easy one to make and seems to span all cultures and time periods, as does the very idea of swapping blood from one person to another. But what it means to swap one being's blood with another's - and why this might be attempted - has radically changed. It is only very recently, (around the turn of the twentieth century), that blood was transfused in order to purposefully replace lost blood. For the majority of this history, this was most certainly not the case. In the seventeenth century, transfusions of lamb's blood were made to calm mad patients and, in the nineteenth century, blood was transfused in order to restore a portion of an invisible living principle living inside of it. This lecture explores from where these ideas came and the ways in which bits of them might linger in our own ideas of transfusion.
On one last note: Paul Craddock commissioned a medical instrument maker to produce some early nineteenth century transfusion equipment. He hopes to demonstrate them at work if he can get them past customs!
Paul Craddock is currently writing on pre-20th century transplant surgery and transfusion at the London Consortium working under Prof. Steven Connor (University of London) and Prof. Holly Tucker (Vanderbilt University, Nashville). After a brief time studying music and performing arts, living in rural China, and working for the National Health Service, Paul made the switch to cultural and medical history. He has never had a transplant and never received a transfusion - his interest in these procedures come from thinking about generally how we relate to the material world by making bodily transactions. He has lectured around the UK and Europe, and last year he spoke at the Observatory Gallery on skin grafting. Currently based in London, Paul is the Director of London Consortium Television, the audio-visual arm of the London Consortium (www.londonconsortium.tv). He is also the Guests' Secretary for the University of London's Extra Mural Literature Association. In another professional life, he produces films for medical establishments and museum exhibitions.
The Hidden River Expedition: A Re-Exploration of the Post-industrial Wilderness along Philadelphia’s Rivers: An Illustrated Lecture and Film Screening with Allen Crawford (aka Lord Whimsy)
Date: This Friday, May 18
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
In August of 2011, Allen Crawford (aka Lord Whimsy) left his house to embark on a three-day, forty-mile solo kayak trek from Mount Holly, NJ to Bartram's Garden, in West Philadelphia. This May 18th, Crawford will present a video using footage shot from his kayak during this trek. He will also give a slideshow presentation, highlighting the strange history along these rivers he traversed: fugitive slave enclaves, floating churches, Civil-War era submarines, and derelict aircraft carriers all await you. This expedition was a re-exploration of Philadelphia's landscape, and an investigation of how its built and grown environments have affected each other over time. This landscape is not pristine, but it is wild--and perhaps most important, it's new. The "local frontier" exists!
Lord Breaulove Swells Whimsy (a.k.a. Victor Allen Crawford III), After twenty long years, has at last achieved his dream: unemployability. He is an artist, designer, author, re-explorer, failed dandy, tin grandee, gentleman trespasser, bushwhacking aesthete, parenthetical naturalist, pseudo-intellectual, and a middle-aged dilettante. Having taken a solemn vow to do as little in life as possible, Whimsy was dismayed one morning to discover that he had accidentally wrote, designed, and illustrated The Affected Provincial’s Companion, Volume One (Bloomsbury 2006), which has been optioned for film by Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil. His face and his words have graced the hallowed pages of The New York Times, Interview, Frieze, Vice, Tin House, and Art in America. He and his wife are proprietors of the design and illustration studio Plankton Art Co. Their most notable project to date is the collection of 400 species identification illustrations that are on permanent display at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ocean Life. A devoted enthusiast, lower-case adventurer, and explorer of what he calls “the local frontier,” Whimsy spends most of his time among the nooks and margins of the forgotten, the curious, and the speculative that is found beneath, around, and between the everyday. He smells like gusto.
And onward and upwards:
- May 21: “The Secret Life of Mushrooms” — Screening of film about mushroom tourism in Mexico with the film’s producer/director Kathleen Green and interviewer Dan Glass
- May 31: “Powder House” A Film about Jell-O: Screening of this film about this "symbol, multi-faceted and elusive; it’s silly, playful, funereal, American. It’s made from bones." Q and A with the filmmakers
- June 3: Life and Death Mask Making Workshop with Artist Sigrid Sarda *** Must RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] gmail.com
- June 4: Erik Jan Hanussen: Hitler’s Jewish Clairvoyant: An illustrated lecture and screening of “lost footage” with Mel Gordon, author of Erik Jan Hanussen: Hitler’s Jewish Clairvoyant and Grand Guiginol: Theatre of Fear and Terror
- June 24: Anatomical Wax Votive Workshop with Artist Sigrid Sarda ***Must RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] gmail.com
- June 25: Class: Drawing from the Bestiary: Animal Anatomy of Real and Imagined Creatures: 4-Part Class with Artist Saul Chernick, M.F.A., Rutgers University ***Must RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] gmail.com
- June 30: Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop: With former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton
- June 30: Morbid Anatomy Library Post-Disaster Benefit SAVE THE DATE
- July 13: Anatomical Venuses, The Slashed Beauty, and Fetuses Dancing a Jig: Illustrated lecture by Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein, followed by afterparty featuring thematic music and specialty cocktails by Friese Undine